There are few more quintessentially British experiences than sinking a pint in the pub. Added to this, it is by far one of the best ways to learn about London’s rich history, should you be so inclined.
As food and drink PR specialists, we have the fortune of representing a plethora of clients, from one-man bands, to conceptual brands, multi-site restaurant groups and pubcos – the latter of which, we occasionally get a unique hidden gem of a spot that represents everything a good old boozer should.
London’s hospitality scene is booming – and changing by the minute. But what remains consistent is those historic pubs that have been around for yonks and offer up the tell-tale signs of the celebrity, scandal and maybe even murder that took place in the capital many moons ago.
Our top picks include:
The French House
‘The French’, as its regulars call it, has been a buzzing part of the bohemian centre of London for decades. Dylan Thomas, Sylvia Plath and Lucian Freud have all drunk here. During World War II, Charles De Gaulle and the Free French used the pub as their base. And The French House only serves its beer in halves. Très continental.
The Spaniards Inn
One of the oldest pubs in London is also one of the most charming, perched on a hilltop by Hampstead Heath. It’s been around since 1585 and has had a rollcall of literary Londoners through the doors – think Byron, Keats and Dickens.
The Ten Bells
Fan of Jack The Ripper (if you can put it like that?!) Then you’re sure to have been led down to The Ten Bells, a regular haunt for the Victorian prostitutes of the Spitalfields area who became the victims of Jack the Ripper. The faded décor and candlelight play into the hands of tourists who’ve heard tales of hauntings.
Mc & Sons (formerly known as The Charles Dickens)
One of our favourites and a new client to Me:Mo – this quirky little Southwark gem is nestled away on Union Street, and epitomises everything a great boozer should stand for.
Take a step back in time and see where two worlds collide, brought together by the traditions of an Irish family (The McElhinney’s) and authenticity of Thai cuisine – delivered in a modern way. The scene is set with hand-picked interiors comprising of stripped-back reclaimed furniture, wooden benches and recycled classic pub pieces sourced from all over the country and Ireland. As only a true Irish pub would have it, the focal point will be the bar, with a fantastic beer & ale selection. For the longer, laid back sessions, indulge in the hideaway snug, historically a favoured spot by Welsh Poet Dylan Thomas.
If only walls could talk.